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Mining Blue Gold: The Impact of Sea Industries on Europe



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Mining Blue Gold: The Impact of Sea Industries on Europe

Mining Blue Gold: The Impact of Sea Industries on Europe

There is always money to be made on the new frontier. Sometimes it may feel like the Wild West, but that’s where the opportunity is. That’s why there are about a dozen private space companies vying for domination outside the Earth’s atmosphere. It’s also the reason that there is a rising tide on the deep blue sea, where billions are being made each year.

This infographic focuses on Europe in particular, where the United Kingdom is nautical miles ahead of anyone else in terms of developing sea-related industries. In fact, just the UK’s offshore oil and gas industry is larger than the total coastal output of any other EU country. At a staggering €36 billion per year, it is over 60% bigger than Greece’s entire coastal output of €22 billion.

Offshore oil and gas, as a whole, is the second biggest industry relating to Europe’s coasts. It generates 80% of Europe’s oil in total, but is expected to half by 2030. The biggest industry is transport for cargo and passengers at a total of €55 billion and 40% of costs go towards fuel.

Coastal tourism is the third biggest industry as a whole at €49 billion and employs about 1.6 million Europeans. It’s the biggest industry on the coasts of places like Italy and Spain.

Original graphic from: Technologist

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Charted: The Safest and Deadliest Energy Sources

What are the safest energy sources? This graphic shows both GHG emissions and accidental deaths caused by different energy sources.



Safest energy sources shareable updated

Charted: The Safest and Deadliest Energy Sources

Recent conversations about climate change, emissions, and health have put a spotlight on the world’s energy sources.

As of 2021, nearly 90% of global CO₂ emissions came from fossil fuels. But energy production doesn’t just lead to carbon emissions, it can also cause accidents and air pollution that has a significant toll on human life.

This graphic by Ruben Mathisen uses data from Our World in Data to help visualize exactly how safe or deadly these energy sources are.

Fossil Fuels are the Highest Emitters

All energy sources today produce greenhouse gases either directly or indirectly. However, the top three GHG-emitting energy sources are all fossil fuels.

EnergyGHG Emissions (CO₂e/gigawatt-hour)
Coal820 tonnes
Oil720 tonnes
Natural Gas490 tonnes
Biomass78-230 tonnes
Hydropower34 tonnes
Solar5 tonnes
Wind4 tonnes
Nuclear3 tonnes

Coal produces 820 tonnes of CO₂ equivalent (CO₂e) per gigawatt-hour. Not far behind is oil, which produces 720 tonnes CO₂e per gigawatt-hour. Meanwhile, natural gas produces 490 tonnes of CO₂e per gigawatt-hour.

These three sources contribute to over 60% of the world’s energy production.

Deadly Effects

Generating energy at a massive scale can have other side effects, like air pollution or accidents that take human lives.

Energy SourcesDeath rate (deaths/terawatt-hour)
Natural Gas2.8
Nuclear energy0.03

According to Our World in Data, air pollution and accidents from mining and burning coal fuels account for around 25 deaths per terawatt-hour of electricity—roughly the amount consumed by about 150,000 EU citizens in one year. The same measurement sees oil responsible for 18 annual deaths, and natural gas causing three annual deaths.

Meanwhile, hydropower, which is the most widely used renewable energy source, causes one annual death per 150,000 people. The safest energy sources by far are wind, solar, and nuclear energy at fewer than 0.1 annual deaths per terawatt-hour.

Nuclear energy, because of the sheer volume of electricity generated and low amount of associated deaths, is one of the world’s safest energy sources, despite common perceptions.

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